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What Do You Know About School Bus Accidents?

What Do You Know About School Bus Accidents?

In the United States, there are about 400,000 school buses that transport children to and from school every day. Currently, there are about 50 million children in private and public schools, and roughly half of these students use school bus transportation to get to school every day. The school transportation system in California is the largest mass transportation system in the state; about 25,000 school buses provide transportation for approximately three million students every day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), since 1998, 1,564 people have died in traffic accidents that were school transportation-related. This is an average of about 142 fatalities every year. The NHTSA terms a school transportation-related collision as “a crash which involves, either directly or indirectly, a school bus body vehicle, or a non-school bus functioning as a school bus, transporting children to or from school or school-related activities.”

Seventy-two percent of the people who died in these accidents were occupants in other motor vehicles that were involved in the crash. Non-occupants, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, accounted for 20 percent of the fatalities in school bus accidents. Occupants in the school transportation vehicles accounted for about 8 percent of deaths in these accidents.

By California law, school bus drivers are given more training than any other type of driver in the state, and gain extensive education in regulations, current laws, and behind-the-wheel experience. Before someone receives a license to operate a school bus, a background check is done by the FBI and/or the Department of Justice. California school bus drivers are also required to possess a current Department of Transportation Medical Certificate as well as have a current First Aid Card. Additionally, school bus drivers are required to participate in an alcohol and drug test before employment as well as undergo random testing throughout their employment. They also must possess and maintain a clean driving record, both personally and professionally.

Unfortunately, school bus accidents in Sunnyvale and around the U.S. occur, regardless of school bus driver training. Oftentimes school districts overlook the requirements that are in place for school bus drivers and hire someone that doesn’t qualify. Like other motorists on the road, school bus drivers can also operate their vehicle recklessly, aggressively, or while fatigued or distracted; all of which can result in Sunnyvale bus crashes. Unfortunately, children are usually the ones that are injured or killed in school bus accidents.

If your child has been injured in a school bus accident in Sunnyvale, your family may be eligible for compensation if it is determined the bus driver or their employer was negligent. Consult with the Sunnyvale school bus accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde to learn about your legal options in pursuing a lawsuit against a negligent bus driver or school district. Call our law office today at (800) 900-0863 to schedule your free consultation today.